Art is communal and the creative contributions of artists to a community are significant. This concept was showcased and addressed by Anacostia Community Museum 1990 exhibition “Whose Art Is It, Anyway? | The Arts in Public Places” (July 15, 1990 – September 1, 1990). With record-breaking attendance and family-friendly activities; this stimulating exhibition attracted both freelance and professional artists from all walks of life. Various forms of public art representing all four quadrants of Washington, D.C. were documented, which included murals and sculptures as well as personal artistic expressions by way of hairstyles, clothing and jewelry.
An array of workshops and programs associated with the exhibition included poetry, theatre and dance as well as classes by master musician Brother Ah (bamboo trumpet workshop), artist and educator Frank Smith (maskmaking), actor, poet and educator Douglas Johnson (children’s theatre workshop) and ceramic sculptor Attiya Melton (ceramic tile mural workshop). Notable performances included the Kankouran West African Dance Company, local magician Myklar and storyteller Marvel Abayomi-Cole.
The exhibit concluded as it began – with a collective effort. A finale mural project, created by the participants, reminded us that art walks, talks and lives with and around us!
De Vida Gray